07 September 2004

Latest Non-Fiction Reading

Interesting how you can tell exactly what topics are on my mind lately, just by looking at what I'm reading. Most recent obsession: comics.

  1. Anime Explosion by Patrick Drazen. As I said before, when I'm not indulging my obsessions, I read about them. One thing about reading about anime is that you find out about all the puns and jokes that only work in Japanese. Plus you learn about cultural references and other interesting details. And you get to make long lists of must-see movies and tv shows.
  2. How to Sell and Draw Comic Strips by Alan McKenzie. I'm not sure why I keep getting these how-to-draw-comics books from the library. Most of them either aren't very good, or just say exactly the same thing as all the others. Still, I thought this one looked promising. And actually, it was pretty good. The author is English (I think), so he talks about the UK side of the comics business, about which I knew very little. The writing was good, too, and the discussions less superficial than they usually seem to be in this kind of book. Don't think I'll run out and buy it, but there was useful stuff in here, and it was worth the time spent reading it.
  3. How to Draw Manga: Getting Started by K's Art. Er, yes. More how-to-draw. I picked this one because there are lots of things that are done rather differently in manga than in western comics. I was particularly interested in the tools--different paper, different pens, cool coloured markers and screen tones. This book's pretty superficial on just about every topic, but there's enough that I can play around with some interesting techniques. I have to admit, I'm still a little intimidated by screen tones, though.

And that's it. I'm working on ghosts and samurai right now (two different books), with something on the Silk Road up next. Then maybe some of those great science books on my shelf. And more fiction. Most of my fiction reading lately has been the kind with pictures.

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